It took a lot of imagination to see and understand the potential of a former automotive oil-change garage as a trendy craft coffee and brewery serving East Beach and Ocean View neighborhoods. In the end, the space was perfectly suited to accommodate the transformation from lubricants to libations. With its early 2020 summer opening, coffee and beer under one roof is truly redefining the concept of the “brew house” in Hampton Roads. Customers start the day with a dark roast and ending the day with some tasty hops. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Scott Bateman, an owner, along with his wife, Susan Bateman, and partners Phil and Karla Smith.
Designers from Work Program Architects shrunk 18-foot bays to 8-foot bays, from car proportion to human proportion, and utilized glass garage doors to bring in natural light. Doors at the rear allow easy equipment movement, while doors at the front provide a seamless flow between interior and exterior spaces. Interiors, in collaboration with Paxton Buckingham, are crisp, modern but still coastal comfortable, featuring warm wood accents. A seven-barrel beer brewing system supports a retail and serving area for customers, dispensing craft beverages from serve-yourself guest taps. COVA serves pastries with fresh-brewed coffee in the mornings, and transitions to light sandwiches and snacks with its signature beers in the afternoon. The site, which includes an acre of land, has accommodated outdoor serving options in the pandemic.
WPA also designed the company’s logo, marking its first branding initiative. The COVA logo includes an underscored OV, representing its Ocean View location within the greater Coastal Virginia community. Meanwhile, the seahorse mascot sports a hops belly and a hidden OV tail curl. Colors were carefully considered to be complementary to the place and one another.